What should I set my calorie goal to?

peachvine29
peachvine29 Posts: 400 Member
edited March 2019 in Food and Nutrition
Hello! I am 26 years old, and 5'7.5''. My highest weight was 200 lbs. in January 2017, starting weight 190 lbs. in February 2018, and I am currently 143 lbs. I know I am in the healthy weight range technically, but I still have a lot of midsection fat I need to lose.

I have been a bit loosely tracking calories for the past year, with my net calorie goals ranging from 1,200 to 1,500 calories. I lift weights 2-3 times a week and usually eat back my exercise calories. I weighed in at 145 lbs. on Christmas and have been hovering around that weight ever since, so I feel am plateauing.

I would really like to weigh around 135-130 lbs. by summertime.

I work a desk job M-F all day and attend school full time, so I set my activity level to sedentary. I do always get up and walk on my breaks and keep very active around my house cleaning and cooking and such.

My TDEE is 1,700 calories, so if I want to lose a pound a week, I need to eat at around 1,200 calories. The problem is, I usually get so hungry trying to eat at that level and usually end up binging.

I've heard that as you get closer to goal, you should lesser your deficit percentage. Is that true? I am just really wanting to shed the rest of this fat, as quickly but as comfortably as possible, and I'd love to by the warmer months. Any advice?
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Replies

  • Prettyeyes1754
    Prettyeyes1754 Posts: 4 Member
    Followimg this
  • Bwilty7
    Bwilty7 Posts: 45 Member
    How long have you been in deficit?
  • peachvine29
    peachvine29 Posts: 400 Member
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    How long have you been in deficit?

    I've been counting calories and aiming for a deficit for one year. I have plenty of maintenance and over-calorie days though, like weekly at least haha.
  • debrakgoogins
    debrakgoogins Posts: 2,034 Member
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    You should be in no particular phase, other than maintenance, for more than 12 weeks. Go back and forth every 12 weeks for optimum results.

    How do you explain people who maintain healthy weight their entire lives? I know for a fact my friend who has been her high school weight for the last 40 years does not change her exercise regime or eating habits every twelve weeks. She has consistently eaten healthy and done spinning. Nothing else.
  • Bwilty7
    Bwilty7 Posts: 45 Member
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    You should be in no particular phase, other than maintenance, for more than 12 weeks. Go back and forth every 12 weeks for optimum results.

    How do you explain people who maintain healthy weight their entire lives? I know for a fact my friend who has been her high school weight for the last 40 years does not change her exercise regime or eating habits every twelve weeks. She has consistently eaten healthy and done spinning. Nothing else.

    You described maintenance. I'm talking change, whether up or down.
  • Bwilty7
    Bwilty7 Posts: 45 Member
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    You described maintenance. I'm talking change, whether up or down.

    Fair enough. How do you explain the many, many people here at MFP who have lost weight simply by staying in a calorie deficit without up and down "shock your system" methods?
    pinuplove wrote: »
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    You described maintenance. I'm talking change, whether up or down.

    Fair enough. How do you explain the many, many people here at MFP who have lost weight simply by staying in a calorie deficit without up and down "shock your system" methods?

    oud7e2sozgu5.gif

    Or physics. You choose.

    You can lose weight consistently being in a deficit- however, I'd argue you'd lose it faster and more efficiently by avoiding adaptation. Same principle applies to muscular growth and strength. If you do the same exercises over and over, it's shown through impericle data that you plateau really hard, and in some cases lose strength/mass. Constant variation and structure is not argued there, why is its importance questioned in diet?

    I've been getting a lot of "woos" from people who think they know everything because someone told them or they read it on this forum. I have an education in this area, one I had to seek out information and do my own experiments to derive my opinions.
  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,283 Member
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    You described maintenance. I'm talking change, whether up or down.

    Fair enough. How do you explain the many, many people here at MFP who have lost weight simply by staying in a calorie deficit without up and down "shock your system" methods?
    pinuplove wrote: »
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    You described maintenance. I'm talking change, whether up or down.

    Fair enough. How do you explain the many, many people here at MFP who have lost weight simply by staying in a calorie deficit without up and down "shock your system" methods?

    oud7e2sozgu5.gif

    Or physics. You choose.

    You can lose weight consistently being in a deficit- however, I'd argue you'd lose it faster and more efficiently by avoiding adaptation. Same principle applies to muscular growth and strength. If you do the same exercises over and over, it's shown through impericle data that you plateau really hard, and in some cases lose strength/mass. Constant variation and structure is not argued there, why is its importance questioned in diet?

    I've been getting a lot of "woos" from people who think they know everything because someone told them or they read it on this forum. I have an education in this area, one I had to seek out information and do my own experiments to derive my opinions.

    Why is losing weight faster a good thing? I've been finding it much less stressful and much easier to stick with by slowing down.
  • Bwilty7
    Bwilty7 Posts: 45 Member
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    You described maintenance. I'm talking change, whether up or down.

    Fair enough. How do you explain the many, many people here at MFP who have lost weight simply by staying in a calorie deficit without up and down "shock your system" methods?
    pinuplove wrote: »
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    You described maintenance. I'm talking change, whether up or down.

    Fair enough. How do you explain the many, many people here at MFP who have lost weight simply by staying in a calorie deficit without up and down "shock your system" methods?

    oud7e2sozgu5.gif

    Or physics. You choose.

    You can lose weight consistently being in a deficit- however, I'd argue you'd lose it faster and more efficiently by avoiding adaptation. Same principle applies to muscular growth and strength. If you do the same exercises over and over, it's shown through impericle data that you plateau really hard, and in some cases lose strength/mass. Constant variation and structure is not argued there, why is its importance questioned in diet?

    I've been getting a lot of "woos" from people who think they know everything because someone told them or they read it on this forum. I have an education in this area, one I had to seek out information and do my own experiments to derive my opinions.

    Why is losing weight faster a good thing? I've been finding it much less stressful and much easier to stick with by slowing down.

    So, maybe "faster" isn't the right word. How about efficient? A certain body composition is usually the goal, which comes with weight loss and muscle gain. Building more muscle helps with weight loss and efficient fat burning. In order to escape adaptation, I, and many others I've trained/coached, have seen better than average results in cycling between cut and building phases. Personally, in the last year, I've lost a gross of 40lbs, increased muscle mass by almost 12lbs, and increased my strength by almost 200%. I had a "maintenance" phase where I just got burned out on counting calories and being super strict also, so my results could have been better.
  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,283 Member
    You can't really build much muscle in a calorie deficit. And really, the difference is negligible. If I put on 5 pounds of muscle, I'll burn 30 calories more than 5 pounds of fat. I probably burn that much turning over while I sleep.

  • Bwilty7
    Bwilty7 Posts: 45 Member
    edited April 2019
    You can't really build much muscle in a calorie deficit. And really, the difference is negligible. If I put on 5 pounds of muscle, I'll burn 30 calories more than 5 pounds of fat. I probably burn that much turning over while I sleep.

    Exactly why I recommend going to a gain cycle where you focus on lean mass building after 10-12 weeks (or you see a plateau/decrease in loss), which in turn will increase your BMR which will allow you to eat more and feel satiated and perform better in your workouts to burn more cals. In a cut cycle, or deficit as it's called here, you tend to lose muscle as well as fat.
  • dansamy2
    dansamy2 Posts: 22 Member
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    You can't really build much muscle in a calorie deficit. And really, the difference is negligible. If I put on 5 pounds of muscle, I'll burn 30 calories more than 5 pounds of fat. I probably burn that much turning over while I sleep.

    Exactly why I recommend going to a gain cycle where you focus on lean mass building after 10-12 weeks (or you see a plateau/decrease in loss), which in turn will increase your BMR which will allow you to eat more and feel satiated and perform better in your workouts to burn more cals. In a cut cycle, or deficit as it's called here, you tend to lose muscle as well as fat.

    I still have well over 100lbs to lose and am thus on a long cut/deficit cycle. I started 01/09 and am down approximately 25lbs now. I did take a weekend off at the end of March before resuming strict calorie counting 04/01. I'm currently losing 1.5-2lbs/week. I'll be on a break from strict counting the first week of May since I'll be in Disney. I still plan to take it as easy as I can by ordering smaller kids meals and drinking water, but I don't expect to lose much, if any, that week.
  • dansamy2
    dansamy2 Posts: 22 Member
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    dansamy2 wrote: »
    Bwilty7 wrote: »
    You can't really build much muscle in a calorie deficit. And really, the difference is negligible. If I put on 5 pounds of muscle, I'll burn 30 calories more than 5 pounds of fat. I probably burn that much turning over while I sleep.

    Exactly why I recommend going to a gain cycle where you focus on lean mass building after 10-12 weeks (or you see a plateau/decrease in loss), which in turn will increase your BMR which will allow you to eat more and feel satiated and perform better in your workouts to burn more cals. In a cut cycle, or deficit as it's called here, you tend to lose muscle as well as fat.

    I still have well over 100lbs to lose and am thus on a long cut/deficit cycle. I started 01/09 and am down approximately 25lbs now. I did take a weekend off at the end of March before resuming strict calorie counting 04/01. I'm currently losing 1.5-2lbs/week. I'll be on a break from strict counting the first week of May since I'll be in Disney. I still plan to take it as easy as I can by ordering smaller kids meals and drinking water, but I don't expect to lose much, if any, that week.

    At some point, I predict if you don't change your diet for a period of time, you'll hit a huge plateau. That's your body adapting to what you're telling it is its new normal.

    Right. That's what I'm saying though. I've had one planned weekend break. I'll have a planned week long break in 3.5 weeks. I'm planning another break the first part of July. All deliberately planned, intentional, but still very reasonable breaks.